Raising Capital

How to use Facebook during your equity crowdfunding campaign

Facebook can be a powerful, far-reaching, – and mostly free - marketing tool. And when you’re running an equity crowdfunding campaign, “powerful”, “far-reaching”, and “free” should be some of the key words flying around your head as you put together your marketing strategy.

How can I use Facebook to promote my campaign?

So, maybe “promote” is the wrong choice of words. Why’s that? Equity crowdfunding, unlike rewards-based crowdsourcing, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and there are a few guidelines that pitches, platforms, and business owners need to be aware of and adhere to.

Since social media came after equity crowdfunding, the existing rules aren’t specifically related to social media messaging. However, you just need to keep an eye on the way you phrase things when it comes to talking about your fundraise.

Anything that sounds like a financial promotion is out. Things like “I’m looking for £-- in return for --% of shares with a --X return on investment”. Inducements are out too: “invest now to get 10x ROI!”  

So what kind of things can you post?

Anything that relates directly to your business, product, or service, just as long as you’re not encouraging or asking people to invest in your business. If your campaign is also offering rewards (which is possible on GrowthFunders through product pre-selling), you can ask/encourage people to check those out instead. If you’d like more information on GrowthFunders’ social media policy, just leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

Let’s take a look at how best to use Facebook (FB) before, during, and after your campaign.

Be social not salesy

That’s what social media is for, after all. It’s a place for conversation-creation and the building of brand awareness, not a place for you to talk about you, you, you all day, every day. Ask questions, conduct polls, involve your fans in as many ways as possible. They want to feel like part of the family; they don’t want to feel pressured into buying a product or investing in your business. However, if you engage with your followers and fans on a friendly and social level, there’s a good chance some of them could end up becoming investors, backers, customers, or even all three!

Make a plan of action

Create a schedule for social media posts. That way, you’ll be able to keep your interactions consistent. According to research carried out by Social Bakers, the ideal number of posts is between 5-10 per week.

Things will get busy once you’ve started your fundraise, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible, prior to launching.

Obviously, during your campaign, there’ll be times when you need to react to events (good or bad), and these can just be slotted in between your scheduled posts.

Share and share alike

Encourage fans to share your posts. The more people who see the links you post, the more people will click on them and end up on your pitch page. Something to do with the law of averages, or something. But then you need to post things that they’ll want to share…

Pretty as a picture

Make your posts as visually-pleasing as possible. The majority of people don’t go on Facebook to read hundreds and hundreds of words. They’ll most likely scan through their wall until something catches their eye. Make sure that “something” is your post!

So what kind of images could you attach to your posts? Anything to get your message out there in a fun and easy way. Caption competitions, mascot adventures, photographs of product or rewards. As long as you use relevant images and links, which are on-brand and lead people to your pitch page, what you choose post is completely up to you.

Facebook is also perfect for showing your followers what’s going on behind-the-scenes of your fundraise:

Are you about to sign an AMAZING brand ambassador? Work up to it - post some teaser pics before the big reveal.

Do you have a blooper reel from when you made your pitch video?

Have you been featured in the media? Then let people know and link to the full article or video.

Make sure people are listening

Research carried out by Inbound Marketing experts, Hubspot, shows that:

Best time to post on FB is between 1pm and 4pm

Worst time to post on FB is between 8pm and 8am

Be consistent with your posts, too. People will probably only “listen” (see your post) when they’re “listening” (online), so it’s worth doing some research to find out what the perfect posting times are for your audience. Don’t just post during office hours, either – social networking is open 24/7.

Celebrate achievements

Chances are, your followers and fans will be the ones getting involved and pushing you ever closer towards your funding target. So keep them updated! It’s all about creating a sense of community by letting everyone know how valued they are.

Encourage them to share great news as well – keep building on both achievements and audience. Can you do a giveaway in celebration? Yes? Then do it! Reward your audience and make them happy they chose to be part of your campaign journey.

If you’re planning to raise finance on a crowdfunding platform in the near future, now’s the time to get socially active. Don’t wait until your campaign starts, because it’ll be a case of too little too late by then.

You need to be building your online network beforehand – teasing them and getting everyone excited – so that when you do launch your equity fundraise, you have an audience behind you. Give yourself the best start.

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